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Coming Clean: True Stories of Prescription Drug Addiction- Shannon's Story

Prescription drug addiction is a real problem in our region - especially among young people. In our I-Team Series, Coming Clean - True Stories of Prescription Drug Addiction. Recovering addicts talked openly with Eyewitness News, I-Team Reporter Laurie Monteforte about how they got hooked and how you can protect your kids. Tonight she introduces us to Shannon Skow.
Shannon Skow thought she found peace - inside a prescription pill bottle.
But - what she thought was an escape - turned out to be a prison.

 
"The more that you do it, the more that your body wants it."

Within one month - Shannon didn't take pills because she wanted them - she took them because she needed them.

 
"When you take them you feel good and everything else and then when you come down, you don't feel so good."

She's not the type of girl - most people thought would end up a drug addict. She played sports and was a good student.
 
"I really like history and math."

She was even a member of students against destructive decisions - a group that works to stop drug abuse.
 
"I was never one to be in trouble or be involved with something like that."

Though she looked happy - Shannon carried an invisible burden.
A drunk driver killed her father when she was young.

 
"I lost him when I was nine years old and everything and then just having kids in school pick on me you know saying I'm an orphan, you know I don't have a dad. Just mean stuff and everything."

Pills helped her forget. Her habit became so expensive - she turned to a drug ring to get her fix.
Shannon picked up illegal prescriptions and filled them at various pharmacies.
 
"I really didn't know who I was anymore. I wasn't the same person that I once knew who I was. They make you somebody who you're really not." 

A family member noticed her plummeting weight and changing attitude - and helped her stay clean for eight months. But then she relapsed... She relapsed just as the police closed in on the drug ring.
 
"They are knocking on the door, banging on the door actually you know saying 'open up the door it's the police.' and then I shot up off the couch and the next thing you know the door was knocked down. They're all inside you know, guns in my face on the ground, zip tied."

Shannon - and more than 50 other people - were arrested in a bust called "Operation Script King."
She plead guilty to obtaining by fraud and conspiracy. She's now a convicted felon serving two years probation.

 
"It just made me realize that you know like, this is not who I am. I can do so much better."

She is now clean - and wants to warn others -- pills lure you with promises of escape - then capture you in addiction.

"It'll ruin your life in the end."

 Tuesday on Eyewitness News at Eleven Laurie will introduce us to young woman whose pill habit morphed into a heroin addiction.
  She'll show us that the face of drug addiction isn't always what we think it is.
 



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